What No-Till Tools are We Missing?
In some ways, all of the tools we will ever need for a no-till garden already exist—buckets, scythes, rollers, wheel barrows, shovels, trowels, rakes, seeders. That it? I think that’s it.
But, there is a ton of room for innovation and new tool designs and uses as new no-till systems come to light and as old ones are employed in innovative ways.
As I say in the video below, the most potential for new small-scale no-till invention is in bed flips (that is, going from one crop to the next without tillage). No doubt, this is where people find the most challenge in staying no-till (and that is why we have covered, and will continue to cover, no-till bed flips on a regular basis). We could certainly use a tool that will accurately and consistently cuts plants at the soil surface and remove the matter.
Or am I just describing a dialed in mower? Do we already have some of the tools that are missing right under our noses? Ben Hartman uses a push mower with a mulching bag—for goodness sake—and it seems to work really well. I surely didn’t think the weed-eater was going to be so useful in our no-till methodology until hearing from Alex Ekins of Ace of Spades Farm. Now, it’s one of our studs of 2019!
Either way, there are so many other areas with room for innovation. Laying down compost evenly, for one. Or, small-scale crimpers (toolmakers email us about this one, we’ve got ideas). What about balers for the BCS for straw mulch? Or what? What are we missing?
That’s my question for you. Or, are we missing anything? Take this gentlemen below harvesting greens with a scythe (thanks @Wilbolin on Instagram for sending this video). All he needed was a slightly modified scythe and some practice.
Indeed, one of things that makes no-till market gardening so appealing is how simple it can be. In reality, very few tools are required, and the emphasis is more on biological processes than the latest gadget. But, what if we were to design—or redesign—tools with a no-till approach in mind?
What do you think?